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Spanish language music: Tango


Ardent Tango
Ardent Tango
by Hoover
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In the Spanish-speaking world, the tango is most closely associated with Argentina, where it originated near the end of the 19th century. Like many Latin musical styles, it combines elements of disparate European, African, and indigenous influences. Notes are played in staccato fashion, rhythms are sharply accentuated, and beats include some interruptions. In traditional performances a vocal solo is accompanied by guitar. During World War I in Europe and the US, the tango experienced mass popularity.


Hugo del Carril (Argentina)
CD Alma de tango [1994] • LISTEN BUY CD
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Enrique Chia (Cuba)
CD Tangos y nostalgia [1997] • LISTEN BUY CD
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Carlos Di Sarli (Argentina)
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Carlos Gardel (France / Argentina)
CD Lo mejor de lo mejor [2001] • LISTEN BUY CD
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Astor Piazzolla (Argentina)
CD Tango: Zero Hour [1992] • LISTENBUY CD • REVIEW: Astor Piazzolla lived and died as tango's bad boy, having almost single handedly invented the music's vanguard, the form known as tango nuevo. It took Piazzolla decades to reach his unequivocal apex, which is captured flawlessly on Tango Zero Hour. When this recording was cut in 1986, some of the compositions Piazzolla and his quintet cued up were standards for the band. Whether it was an epiphanic period or not, the recording captures an ensemble alchemically transforming seriously complex works into goose-bump-inducing electricity. Pianist Pablo Ziegler brings his jazz background into the mix with jarring urgency, just as violinist Fernando Suárez Paz makes quavering classical inflections sing amid Piazzolla's here tender and there blistering bandoneon. For a peak experience in music that challenges the ear to dance and the body to fully listen, look no further than this recording. -- Review by Andrew Bartlett

CD The Rough Guide to Astor Piazzolla [2005] • LISTENBUY CD • REVIEW: Before Piazzolla, Argentinean tango, whether performed in a Buenos Aires waterfront dive or cafe society boïte, was primarily music for a dance famously described as a "vertical expression of a horizontal desire." But filtered through Piazzolla's cosmopolitan outlook and intellect, it became a sophisticated yet still searingly sexy fusion of Argentina's rural milonga and African derived candombe styles with American jazz, European pop and 20th-century classical influences. Today, it's hard to believe that nuevo tango initially raised howls of indignation as Piazzolla's spell-binding bandoneon (accordion) and compositions ultimately won over the traditionalists. This compilation includes many of the late Maestro's best-known tunes, such as "Libertango" and two versions of "Adios Nonino", an elegy for his father. From the percussive, Shostakovich-like thrust of "Tres Minutos Con la Realidad" to the keening, fatalistic bitterness of "Milonga del Angel", it is a collection to treasure, ideal for beginners and enlightening for collectors. -- Review by Christina Roden

CD The Soul of Tango: Greatest Hits [2000] • LISTENBUY CD | CD La Camorra [1993] • LISTEN
BUY CD | CD Live at the BBC [1989] • LISTENBUY CD
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